CTI Blog - Renewed CTI looks at 2017 with confidence
This blog post is by David Hopkins, CTI Director and Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF)
This feature also appeared on the Structural Timber Magazine, Spring 2017 edition
2017 is set to be a great year for the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI).
Thanks to an internal reorganisation and a revamped strategy, the Confederation has already started to intensify its initiatives with the aim of growing the UK Timber Industry.
As announced in an Industry Manifesto last autumn, CTI’s backbone now includes major trade associations such as the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Builders Merchants Federation, the Structural Timber Association (STA) and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) offering their support and expertise.
These four organisations – in collaboration with major companies and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Timber Industries – are called upon to promote collaboration, share best practise and promote the Timber Industry case to key policy makers.
The first demonstration of the new CTI strategy was unveiled through a seminar held at the House of Commons in February 2017. Focused on the Housing White Paper issued by the Government and promoted by the Structural Timber Association (STA) and the Timber Industries APPG, the event showed how Offsite Timber Frame Construction could represent an effective and proven solution to meeting housing demand.
Industry figures show that the current production capacity is around 100,000 units per year and could easily scale up to 150,000 given the right policy frameworks.
In that occasion, Stewart Dalgarno, Director of Product Development at Stewart Milne Group clearly stated: “Housing is arguably the biggest social issue of our times, and a huge economic opportunity. The timber industry already has the capacity to help meet this demand and is already delivering around 60,000 units per year using proven offsite construction methods. This is not something for the future, we’re doing this now.”
However, to fully realise the potential of delivering over 150,000 offsite timber frame units per year by 2020 a more certain and long term commitment and policy framework is needed, along with an improved and widespread understanding of the benefits of using wood in construction.
A major step in that direction was taken just few weeks later, when the CTI joined forces with Wood for Good at Ecobuild 2017 to showcase the natural advantages of working with wood to develop sustainable communities and a low carbon economy.
For three days, experts from the Structural Timber Association, British Woodworking Federation, Timber Trade Federation, TRADA and Wood for Good were on hand to answer queries about this rapidly growing section of the construction market.
The CTI / Wood For Good joint stand also hosted two successful initiatives: the launch of the BWF Life Cycle Assessments through the new BRE LINA tool and the presentation of the new guide on the ‘Robustness of CLT Structures’ produced by the Structural Timber Association (STA).
The event clearly showed how a coordinated and targeted approach across the UK Timber Industry can help again put the sector in the spotlight.
With this in mind, the Confederation is going to undertake several tailored initiatives throughout 2017. The next project will be led by the British Woodworking Federation and focused on Apprenticeships and Skills. The seminar – to take place again at the House of Commons in Autumn 2017 – will see the participation of policy makers, Industry leaders and Sector experts.
In Winter, it will be the turn of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), called to organise and coordinate a debate on Sustainability and Quality of Standards across the whole Timber Supply Chain.
As underlined by many commentators, the 21st Century is definitely emerging as the Timber Age and what the Timber Industries need is a mouthpiece to push this message forward.
Well, the CTI is ready to play the role.